Productivity is not just crossing off items on a to-do list; it’s all about making sure you do things in a successful, timely, and effective way. For that to happen, you need a good productivity system that guarantees you a workflow you enjoy.
Develop a Work Breakdown Structure, it is the surest, easiest way to get everything you need in one place. Besides, weekly planning takes about an hour and can save you countless hours of pain. If done consistently, planning will become your best friend. Use this structure and reshape the way you manage your projects; don’t forget to:
Manage your Time
A bad time management is the PM’s fiercest enemy. Productivity gets siphoned quickly if you don’t manage your time. Meetings, interruptions, they all consume it. Soon enough you realize clock time is not equal to real time and your eight clock hours became two real ones. What you do need to be productive. Take these potential setbacks into account and make a space for them within your week; most likely, you will need it.
Set a Scope
While you should’ve set your scope early in the project’s life cycle, your weekly planning should have an updated and detailed scope. To sequence your weekly tasks, you need to cover all the corners. Make sure you have the whole scope set and linked together with the potential tasks. Document your scope and use it as a boundary that circles what needs to be done –and is essential– and whatever that is not. Procedures, needs, objectives: that’s your scope
Establish a Milestone List
Milestones are the stepping stones of your project. They serve as reference points that mark an important event or group of tasks. Milestones are informational and help the stakeholders assess the direction of the project. Your weekly plan needs to determine these milestones because they help your team stay on track, determining whether you’re on schedule or not.
Collect and Measure Information
What gets measured, gets done. Measuring something gives you the information you need, making sure you achieve what your milestones said you’d do. A performance metric is key, as it tells you how well the milestones are performing. Measuring performance against the goals help you understand success and failure. Bulletproof your processes and remember your collaborators where their effort should be.
Plan Revisions and Changes
Brainstorm potential problems and look for ways to prevent or mitigate them. Prevention is better than cure. If there is something pressing that needs to get done, indicate its impact and how it affects the rest of your planning. Communicate to your team whatever that deviates from the plan and attack it as soon as possible; don’t let changes go unnoticed, they will creep to your next weekly planning and mess everything up.
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